A school provides organised instruction or training on a regular and continuing basis. The instruction is generally provided in class form.

It includes people assembling for regular study of some area of knowledge or activity that is not recreational in character.

A school must be an institution and have a real, separate, institutional existence (which may be within or part of another institution).

Factors that are relevant in deciding whether there is a school include:

  • a set curriculum
  • instruction or training by suitably qualified persons
  • enrolment of students
  • some form of assessment and correction
  • the creation of a qualification or status that is recognised outside of the organisation.

If the primary function or essential purpose is not instruction or training, it is not a school. This will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Bodies that have been accepted as schools include:

  • adult religious education centres
  • theological colleges
  • Bible study centres
  • pre-school kindergartens that are not primarily for child-minding
  • film and television schools
  • vocational schools for opera, ballet and drama.

Bodies that are not schools include:

  • those where the primary function is recreational, for example, yoga schools, riding schools, woodturning centres, dressmaking, ceramics and cookery workshops
  • child care centres.
    Last modified: 12 Oct 2016QC 16311